House to Vote Monday on Fortenberry’s ISIS Genocide Resolution

Mar 11, 2016
Press Release

Lincoln, NE – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today made the following statement about his genocide resolution, H. Con. Res. 75, which will be voted on in the full United States House of Representatives on Monday, March 14. The resolution names and decries ISIS violence against Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities as genocide. 

“When ISIS systematically targets Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities for extermination, this is not only a grave injustice—it is a threat to civilization itself. We must call the violence by its proper name: genocide. 

“A genocide designation will raise international consciousness and compel the international community of responsible nations to act, setting the preconditions for the reintegration of ancient ethnic groups and faith traditions into their ancestral homelands.” 

Fortenberry in September 2015 introduced H. Con. Res. 75 in the House. In a sign of bipartisan unity, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last Wednesday passed the resolution by unanimous consent. The resolution has over 200 bipartisan cosponsors and is pending the Monday vote in the full House under suspension of the rules. 

On February 24, Fortenberry made the case for recognizing ISIS’ genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and other vulnerable minority groups in the Middle East during an exchange with Secretary of State John Kerry at a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. Fortenberry pleaded for a comprehensive genocide designation that encompasses these ethnic and religious communities, which are facing brutal persecution in the region. By law, the State Department must make its determination by March 17. 

A rapidly expanding international coalition has recognized that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East. The European Parliament, the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Pope Francis, and presidential candidates in both parties, among many others, are standing in solidarity to name and decry this genocide. 

Fortenberry added: “Christians, Yezidis, and other beleaguered minority groups can find new hope in this trans-partisan and ecumenical alliance against ISIS’ barbaric onslaught.”

Fortenberry serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. Along with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), he is co-chair of the Religious Minorities of the Middle East Caucus and represents America’s largest Yezidi community.

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